Bonded vs Cup-and-Core for deer?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Scout21, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. Scout21

    Scout21 Member

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    I've never used a bonded bullet before, and every cup-and-core bullet I've ever used on deer has done the job just fine. I'm getting set up to reload for .308 Winchester and I'm looking at different bullets. Bonded bullets are nearly the same price as cup-and-core. The deer I hunt are relatively small. A massive buck would be around 175-200 pounds while a typical deer would be around 100-125 pounds. I try to avoid bone, but ultimately the deer gets shot in the deer if need be. Should I go for the bonded or the cup-and-core bullet?
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
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  2. uuolf

    uuolf Member

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    I have been loading and hunting for over 40 years and I like bonded because they "usually" stay together (retain more weight) at almost all velocities... Many times I use the same bullet in several different guns... (308, 300 wm, 300 b/o, etc.) There are many flavours but I like to use gold dots... Out of a 270, 308 and even my 300's... And IMHO the hunting copper mon-ometals are great also... Although the price of those pills are generally higher.
     
  3. ldlfh7

    ldlfh7 Member

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    If you can get premium bullets at the same price point as cup and core, no reason not to try them. I also reload 308 but have stuck with hornady sp for deer hunting as they have never let me down once so I see no reason to fix what is not broken. Now I do only deer hunt under 200 yards and most shots are closer to 50 yards. If you are shooting long distances, a high bc and bonded bullet can only improve your chances of bagging your deer quickly and cleanly.
     
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  4. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Even though bonded are a superior bullet in general, for deer, cup and core makes more sense to me in more powerful cartridges like 308.

    A good deer bullet expands rapidly, may shed a bit of weight, and may exit out the other side. It usually does exit with anything 7mm-08/280 Rem/270 Win or above.

    I would choose a bonded exclusively for smaller deer cartridges like the 6mm choices.

    Nonetheless, if prices are similar, I would be hard pressed not to get the bonded.
     
  5. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    There are several technologies in bullets and they all seem to work. A partican tries to accomplish the same goal a different way. Speed is the major factor and that can be controlled with bullet weight. If your shooting a 180 the bullet is slow enough and the shank is long enough to be just fine. In a 300wm that bullet at close range is probably not a good choice at all and better technology is required.
     
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  6. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    It seems to me that the primary advantage of "bonded" bullets is that they make your cartridge a little "bigger". In other words, if your cartridge is on the lower end of power for your animal (.30-'06/elk, for example) a better bullet can give you a bit more leeway.

    Another advantage is that bonded bullets hold together better at high velocities, which can be helpful for certain cartridges.

    On the whole, though, I don't think they offer significant advantages in "normal" hunting, like medium size deer at typical ranges with traditional hunting cartridges. In the OP's shoes, I simply wouldn't worry about bullets much at all, as there's very little that won't be perfectly adequate for the job.
     
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  7. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Bonded bullets are for magnums or like @.38 Special said.

    I would consider a cup and core to be the better option in 3000-2500 fps cartridges.
     
  8. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    IF the cost is the same, I'd also go with the bonded.

    They're what I use when the shots might be close, rather than load the rifle down. For deer the lethality difference (IF there even is one) IMHO is moot.
     
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    As long as you're using a caliber large enough to be suitable for the game hunted and with a bullet heavy enough any premium bullet isn't needed. For deer most any 150 gr bullet will work. But as you move up to larger game, or if using smaller calibers then premium bullets may be an advantage.

    Just make sure you're using them within their recommended impact velocity. Most cup and core bullets work fine between around 1800-2800 fps. If they impact slower they may not expand. Faster and they may over expand and not give adequate penetration. Many premium bullets will stay together at very fast speeds, but also need more speed to expand

    Other than that, there isn't much downside to using premium bullets. Yes, they cost a little more, but used as hunting bullets it isn't a deal killer. I can buy 200 of the cheapest cup and core hunting bullets and the money I save over 200 premium bullets will only buy me about 1/2 tank of gas for my truck. That 1/2 tank of gas won't get me very far, but 200 bullets used to zero a rifle, get in a little practice and hunt with will last me several seasons.
     
  10. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I have used Accubonds in 243, 6.5 CM, and 300 WSM. The only time I had a gripe was when I loaded 150gr in the 300. It made a mess out of a bambi. I went back to the 165gr and all is well. The old Speer HotCor held together well when I was shooting a 270. That said, I have had very good luck with the Sierra TGK out of the Creedmoor when culling does. Took over 20 head from 30 to 250 yards. They are cheap, accurate and I have never needed 2 shots.
    A 165gr Speer, Accubond or the TGK would be my pick for the 308.
     
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  11. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    IMHO, the difference is not the type of construction the bullet is, but how well it is constructed. "Bonded" bullets come in many types. One of those types is the inexpensive plated bullet generally used for plinking. One needs to educate themselves as to what are the quality hunting bullets out there and which ones are designed for the purpose I am looking for. Nothing speaks louder than personal experience, yet personal experience can be very subjective. While one poster may praise one particular bullet up and down, the next will claim it failed them miserably. From my experience, very few quality hunting bullets fail when used as designed. The failure comes from the one who pulls the trigger.
     
  12. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    On deer it really doesn’t matter, they are thin skinned lightly built animals.
     
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  13. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    My SIL shoots Accubond in his 270wsm, these will blow right through deer under a hundred yards or so leaving a heck of a blood trail where on the other hand my Grandson doesn’t hesitate to use soft point in a 30-30 and I use so in my 308 for deer.
    On Mule deer I may opt for a bonded to stretch out a bit more to maybe 2-300 yds and want a good blood trail.
    Try both..
     

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  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    If I have discovered something that works, I don't try to fix it.
     
  15. mcb

    mcb Member

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    What the fun in that? I am always trying new things, I might find something that works even better.

    I would also suggest giving all copper bullets a look. They have some very nice advantages.
     
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  16. e rex

    e rex Member

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    What does your rifle like? Deer ain't hard to kill.
     
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  17. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Many problems are caused by the fixing of things that are not broken... ;)
     
  18. mcb

    mcb Member

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    How many new innovations have been passed over or never invented due to that attitude...
     
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  19. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    It was an old engineering saying, I meant it as joke... o_O
     
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  20. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    Bonded simply means the jacket is "attached" to the core , Usually it is soldered or epoxy bonded .
    In theory the core doesn't shed the jacket .
    Now is the core shedding it's jacket when you shoot a deer a problem ... or ... do you simply want to kill the deer " More Dead " ... or ... do you just want to use fancy bullet that cost more .
    Whatever the reason they all work on deer as they don't need a lot of killing ... heck a simple cast bollet of wheel weight metal and lead works just fine . $25 dollar Lee bullet mould gets you into the bullet making business .
    Gary
     
  21. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Sorry I missed the joke. As a "paid-optimist", an R&D engineer by profession, that saying has always bothered me.
     
  22. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    Monolithic FTW
     
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  23. WisBorn

    WisBorn Member

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    I think you answered your own question. Cup-and-core bullets work well on deer. If I was investing a great deal of money in an out of state hunt or hunting in an area with big body bucks I would step it up to a bonded bullet.
    I always used bonded bullets in my 300 mags as I wanted to reduce the chance of the bullet blowing up. In my 7mm mag I have used both and have been equally successful.

    When you consider the cost of hunting the ammo is the cheapest part.
     
  24. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Yes!!!!!
     
  25. Scout21

    Scout21 Member

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    I forgot that I tucked away some Speer Hot-Cor bullets a while back when I found a good deal on them. Looks like it'll be cup-and-core for now assuming they group well.
     
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